BANGOR, Maine – Democratic candidate for governor Libby Mitchell accepted the endorsement Tuesday of a small business coalition that boasts more than 2,500 members in Maine.
The Maine Small Business Coalition formed around its advocacy of affordable health care during the recent Congressional debate about health care reform.
“Paul LePage and Eliot Cutler have stood by big business,” said MSBC member David White, owner of MDI Imported Car Service in Bar Harbor. “Libby Mitchell has stood up for the little guys, which most of us are.”
White said maintaining health insurance benefits for his employees has been a constant struggle, forcing him at times to decide between offering coverage and taking measures such as increasing his prices or laying an employee off.
“That’s wrong,” he said.
Suzanne Kelly, co-owner of Kelly Realty Management on Pine Street, where Tuesday’s press conference took place, echoed White’s statements.
“That’s not the way we should be treating each other,” said Kelly. “We should all have insurance.”
Mitchell said that with the help of national health care reform, she has a plan to bring affordable health care to Maine. Though the task seems daunting, she referred to the overhaul of the state’s worker’s compensation system as an example of a tough challenge that was met.
“I know that [small businesses are] where the jobs will come from,” she said. “What a turnaround we had with worker’s comp. We can do that with health care.”

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.